Paros, by Masterstroke

Trainer: Nicky Henderson OBE Race type: Jumps
Age: 3 yr old Description: Chestnut Gelding
Download pedigree View racing post form

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Race entries



Bloodstock agents, Peter and Toby Jones, who are based in the South West of France, have found what they believe is a TOP CLASS, French 3yo hurdler for us, whose price tag represents outstanding value compared with normal market prices, and affords MPR the opportunity to access a totally different league of horse than they’ve previously been able to offer us. In any normal year, he would have been snapped up by GB agents, for €400,000 or €500,000; that’s generally what top class French horses sell for, as a private sale.

To date, Peter and Toby have sourced us OLEG (€80,000 and now the winner of 4 of his 6 races since arriving) and RED RISK (€72,000, who is one win from two runs for us and was heading for a Grade 2 Chase at The Ayr Scottish National meeting, before the NH season ground to an untimely halt.) 

The horse they have sourced for us, here, represents a quite exceptional opportunity, wildly beyond anything we’ve been able to offer before at Middleham Park. The horse in question is the once raced, winning, hurdling debutant PAROS. See his images, form and pedigree pages attached to this page.

See his original sales video here:

He sauntered home in his only race to date at Dieppe by a comfortable 2 lengths, jumping for fun and sprinting clear in the straight to win his 3yo hurdle. His current connections have been telling Peter and Toby since January, that he is a future Champion Hurdle horse, well before the horse even set foot on a racecourse. Watch his debut race win replay on ATR here: 

Since his winning debut, the runner up to Paros that day, has finished 3rd in a Listed hurdle and went on to win its subsequent start. The 3rd horse at Dieppe has won its only other, and subsequent start convincingly by 3.5 lengths, so the form has a rock rock solid feel to it. Since Peter and Toby first saw the horse in February, he has grown just under an inch in height and now stands at 16.1 and a half hands high. He has the makings of a strapping, top class recruit, ready for any NH code you’d care to think of. Connections have already declined offers of €150,000 and €200,000 and are adamant they want €250,000 for him; such is the regard they hold him in. In any normal year, he would have been snapped up by agents, acting on behalf of the likes of JP McManus or Simon Munir for €300,000 or €400,000, that’s generally, what top class French horses sell for, privately, and often more than that!

Horses like PAROS have never before come onto Middleham Park’s radar, but in this strange year, we are being afforded a unique opportunity. The world is Paros’ oyster, if Peter, Toby and current connections are correct. Horses with PAROS’ talent can operate for years and years at the top flight over hurdles and fences and can even translate their talent to the Flat at places like Royal Ascot, as Verdana Blue showed only this week. Many horses that turn out to be top class over here, that are ex French recruits, come over to England having simply placed on a few occasions in France or have maybe won on their 3rd outing or so, before being bought to come over, so to have Paros’ form credentials in the bag already, really sets him apart, and adds further credence to his extraordinary potential. Even if current connections are 10% or 20% wrong about Paros’ level of ability, he can still be a 145 rated, Saturday and Festival performer, racing on the biggest stages, for large prize money pots. 145 or 168 rated National Hunt performers, depending on what Paros turns out to be, possess serious levels of Flat ability too, as we’ve previously alluded to.

If you click on the link of the Dieppe race (shown above), you can see how effortlessly he jumps and asserts, to put the race to bed, against some very talented rivals. One of his biggest assets, is his electric and fast jumping, he has the ability to make lengths in the air and it’s an asset that’s so so vital when racing against top class opposition. His career was due to get underway in May, in a LISTED HURDLE at Auteuil, the Cheltenham of France, such is the regard he’s held in, but he was eliminated by a random ballot to protect field sizes, at the time, so he was switched to Dieppe to get off the mark. He was due to run next at Auteuil on 4th July in the Grade 3 Hurdle (see an update on that below), if he had not been sold by then, such is the faith his connections have in him. Just to reiterate, connections believe he is destined for the top, with races like The Champion Hurdle, and potentially, The Champion Chase, in their thinking. He’s ideal for The Triumph next Spring too and we’d work back from that, in the first instance.

You can view three presentation videos of him in the gallery - two of his walk and one at trot.

Given that most of the best 2m hurdlers in the country are trained at Seven Barrows by NICKY HENDERSON OBE,  where better to send him to be trained? Nicky does so well with his French imports; Buveur D’Air, Epatante and Sprinter Sacre are perfect examples from small French sources where the horses aren’t bred in the purple.

Form Update (4th July): The horse, who was 2 lengths 2nd to Paros - JEU DE PAUME, has just finished a good 2nd in the Grade 3 Prix Aguado Hurdle at Auteuil; 6 lengths ahead of the third, so the form is looking very strong!

Trainer Update (21st July): He has been having a little break at his "holiday home" for a week or so now and he has settled in very well. He arrived at Seven Barrows for a few days before he was sent there to have a brief break and Nicky loved what he saw about him, saying: "He looks just like the type you would want for the Triumph!" French horses can come over a little bit lean and mean which is why he's gone for a short break, just to fill the petrol tank back up before we get into him. There isn't a huge rush to get him into hard training as he has the experience edge on a lot of horses over here as he's already a winner and he'll be back in at Seven Barrows in 10/14 days.


Syndicate manager update: Tom Palin says: "It does seem that in Bet 365’s opinion (see above) at this current moment, we own the most likely winner of the Triumph hurdle at the next Cheltenham Festival! I guess it’s our job now to keep him there!"

If a top class National Hunt opportunity with the Champion Trainer is tempting you, do get in touch with Tom, our National Hunt manager if you have any questions:


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